More emphasis is being placed on the HCAHPS survey to gauge patient satisfaction and help hospitals improve the patient experience. However, with budgetary and staffing pressures, improving the patient experience has become a major challenge throughout the healthcare industry.
Patient Satisfaction and Staffing Concerns
In addition to medical care, the HCAHPS survey also scores cleanliness, communication, education, and attentiveness. In most hospital settings, nursing teams are currently stretched to their limits, and can only provide coverage for an average of six beds per team, which reduces the amount of attention they can provide to individual patients. As a result, communication also suffers, and patients and their loved ones do not feel they are getting adequate education prior to discharge. There simply aren’t enough nurses to provide the attention and monitoring for patients, which also limits the number of admissions a hospital can take. The aforementioned points on the staffing side lead to lower scores when assessing patient experience and satisfaction.
The Patient Experience and Budgetary Concerns
Hospitals are also trying to balance budgetary pressures along with providing an excellent patient experience. Many hospitals cannot hire extra nursing staff to provide better coverage and attentiveness to patients. The issue isn’t just because of capital limitations, but also because the number of nurses entering the workforce is not large enough to fill in the gaps. Additionally, the rate at which procedures and methods are advancing leaves many hospital staff members unable to communicate with patients and give them the proper education they need before being discharged.
Transforming the Patient Experience
Teleprofessionals, including virtual nurses, are transforming the staffing model, lowering expenses, and allowing hospitals to greatly improve the patient experience. A virtual nurse can ease staffing pressures to allow RNs to cover more beds and provide the extra attention patients need. A virtual nurse can also assist with communicating with patients and providing the education they need. Teleprofessionals in the hospital setting can handle admissions, discharges, and patient monitoring, which eases the workflow for RN teams and improve patient experience and satisfaction, as well as increasing HCAHPS scores.